Severe storms with tornadoes killed at least two people and injured more than two dozen others as they ravaged the South on Tuesday – and the powerful system is poised to deliver more damaging storms and twisters in the region on Wednesday.
The southern storms are part of a larger system that also has been delivering heavy snow – and in some places blizzard conditions – in northern parts of the central US.
Tuesday’s storms spawned tornadoes and splintered homes and businesses from Oklahoma and the Dallas/Fort Worth area to Mississippi – including Louisiana, where a boy and his mother were killed in one town and at least 20 others were injured in another.
In northwestern Louisiana community of Keithville, a boy and his mother were found dead after a tornado destroyed their home Tuesday, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The boy’s body was located Tuesday about a half-mile from the home, Sheriff Steve Prator told CNN affiliate KSLA.
The mother was found dead early Wednesday about a street over from where the house had been, and two other people in the community were injured, the sheriff’s office said.
About 100 miles away in the small Union Parish town of Farmerville, Louisiana, at least 20 people were injured when a tornado struck Tuesday night, Farmerville police Detective Cade Nolan said.
Parts of an apartment complex there were demolished, with downed trees and other debris littering a road and fields, a CNN crew saw Wednesday.
Tiyia Stringfellow, her boyfriend and two young children were in her Farmerville apartment when Tuesday’s tornado damaged it, she told CNN.
“We were in the kitchen closet. All we heard was whistling, and my boyfriend got up to look outside of the window and he (saw) the tornado. The whole house was shaking and I (saw) my roof cave in, and the house went dark,” Stringfellow said, adding none of them was injured.
First responders still were searching for people in Farmerville early Wednesday, Nolan said, adding several people were injured while traveling in cars.
At least 17 tornado reports have been made since Tuesday – including 12 on Tuesday itself: One in Oklahoma, four in Texas, five in Louisiana and two in Mississippi.
At least five have been reported on Wednesday – all in Mississippi.
What to expect in the South on Wednesday:
• Severe weather – perhaps including tornadoes and strong wind gusts – is possible in parts of the Gulf Coast and Southeast on Wednesday, especially southern Louisiana, southern and central Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle.
• A tornado watch is in effect Wednesday until 1 p.m. CT for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and far western Alabama.
• A moderate risk of excessive rainfall that could lead to flash flooding exists Wednesday for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and west-central Alabama, the Weather Prediction Center says.